Monday, June 30, 2008

Pay It Forward - Amelia's First Contest

I like contests, I like winning things. I would like to win the Powerball, but you know, odds and such. I've won 3 so far, two from Celebrity Baby Blog, and one from A Mommy Story. All of this winning has actually, serious and stuff, made me want to give stuff away myself. I really like giving stuff. I just haven't known how...

Enter one of my favorite blogs, The New Girl. (found her originally thanks to a link to this post, made me laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants) She's having her first contest, and its a cool concept from someone named Swistle. Pay It Foward - Have a contest and the person who wins then has a contest and so on and so forth.

So, here it is, my contest. Must enter by July 4th, 2008. (counting Central US time and all) Entry done by leaving a comment. Winner picked by random number generation. (yeah, geek) You don't have to write anything other than you know, something, but if you want an idea, here it is:

What is/was your favorite children's book. Both for you doing the reading and being read to. (what, I need help both finding stuff for us, and writing for Savvy)
Mine, The Bear Snores On. Totally fun to read, and holds attention pretty well.

Oh, stuff? You want to know what the prize is? Well, I've been collecting some neat stuff while venturing out for my work at Savvy. Didn't know what I wanted to do with it, but couldn't leave these great shops empty handed. Included, but not limited to:

An Under the Nile organic toy from Wonderment
A book (or two) from Wild Rumpus
A toy, hand knit and felted by yours truly
A wild sock monkey, hand made by yours truly
A jar of local, single source honey from Ames Farm

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Kinds of Savviness

Well... I was going to slowly introduce you to all of the awesome Savvy City Experts, then the boss lady Stefania (aka City Mama), went and made a contest, and well, you know, contest. I've been having some good luck with those lately. (could not come at a better time for M starting her new daycare)

So, here it is. City Mama (you should go there and read her anyway for 1. recipes 2. insightful cool posts 3. momocrats Seriously, click that link, you'll thank me for it later) wrote a great post about her role as fearless leader, and is offering up a great bit o' loot for writing about it.

So, without further ado, here is the list of City Editors. Give them love, give them great feedback, give them ideas.

(Silicon Valley City Editor Shawn Burns created the list, he gets all the credit for that.)

Kim Mordecai (Sacramento) (coming soon!)

Jonathon Morgan (Austin)

Caitlin Giles (Chicago)

Mike Adamick (San Francisco)

Christina Mack (Columbus)

Leticia (DC Metro)

Rachel Mosteller (Houston)

Casey of Moosh in Indy (Indianapolis)

Colleen (Delaney Diaries) (San Antonio)

Aimee of Greeblemonkey (Denver)

Rita Arens of Surrender Dorothy (Kansas City)

Jenny Ciampa (San Diego) (San Diego)

Bethany Dunn (Seattle)

Kelly Leahy (New Orleans)

Amy Kuras (Detroit)

Nicole Teed (Charleston)

Meredith Pelham (Nashville)

Julie Woo Yang (Honolulu)

Amy Davis (The Lovely Mrs. Davis) (Atlanta)

Becky (Tampa) (Tampa)

Heather Gibbs Flett(Rookie Moms) (Oakland/Berkeley)

Whitney Moss (Rookie Moms) (Oakland/Berkeley)

Kim Prince (San Fernando Valley)

Amelia Sprout (Minneapolis/St. Paul) look, that's me!

Jill Notkin (Boston) Nina Moon (Los Angeles)

Gwendolyn Floyd (Vancouver)

Katie Mother Bumper (Toronto) (coming soon!)

Haiku Friday: Steps

One finger hold on

try to chase the puppy tag

with security

one step two step three

cautious hesitant stutters

sit down stand up start

M is walking, on her own. Her longest known walk was around 6 feet, most are a few steps here and there. We're encouraging her to walk whenever we can, mostly for the practice. If she doesn't want to, we don't push her. She still reverts to crawling when she has a need for speed, or when she's tired. If you're near her, and she wants to get somewhere, she holds out a hand so you can give her a finger to hold on to while she walks around the house. She has actually tried to run, while holding on to a finger, once. It was of course trying to play tag with our three year old Cairn Terrier. She was of course very confused by this, completely unsure if a walking child is a new way to play, or something to hide in your kennel for.

For more Haiku (the way I managed to pass creative writing my senior year) please visit A Mommy Story.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Varmit Control

Ok, so last week I did this post about bunnies in my garden and bunny books over at Savvy. It was a fun post to write, and it helped me deal with my frustrations with the bunnies that have been having their way with my plants. Especially the HUGE one, I like to call her Maude, and her many offspring. (including the one caught by neighbor cat that I almost saved, but I had to get to work)
After the post, I went out and sprayed some more of the nifty liquid fence stuff. I thought it was working. I was pleased with myself. Then Saturday afternoon I think I found the real reason why I haven't seen a bunny in days. I had gotten in the car to go shoe shopping, when I saw four of these in the yard down the next block. Just sitting there. I drove past. I got mildly freaked out and rolled up my windows.
They have been hanging out down the street for days now. Sunday I went out to get pictures of two that seem to always be on the ground, and one overhead had something to say about it.

Today I snapped the picture to the right and I think I have correctly identified them as Red Tailed Hawks. (not nearly as cool as juvenile eagles that I originally thought they were) No matter what, I like this form of pest control. I like it a lot. Even if I do now refuse to walk the very small dog down that block.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Biki..what? Do they make Spanx for that?

Ok, I have a dilema. I bought M a nice cute little two piece, with a short sleeve rash guard top and a regular bottom. (ok, didn't even know what it meant until I just looked it up for that link, I was just excited about less skin exposed to the sun) We have the cute water table that I got off of CL (castle themed, it has a moat!), and she loves that. However, we live in Minneapolis. We have pools here. Neighborhood wading pools everywhere. And even with the tubes, we can use them. We can keep her from going underwater and still let her splash and have fun. We can put the waxy stuff in her ears.

However, for her to go in the water, I need a swim suit. I owned a bikini, once. I think it was black with white polka dots. I have no photographic proof so you're just going to have to take my word for it, but I was hot. Most of the time however, I wore a diving suit. Something like this. Except in a significantly less attractive maroon and gold color scheme. I was in competitive swimming and those things stay ON. Since then, my body went a wee bit in the direction I hoped that it never would and I've taken to just not swimming at all. I may have bought a suit or two, but never actually wore them. All of them looked kind of like that. (including the pink one that is in a pile of clothes in the bedroom that I bought right before I got pregnant)

I'm sure it will still fit. I'm back to approximately my pre-preg weight. However, I have this thing. I don't know what to call it, but it lives somewhere below my waist and seems to be made of skin. I wonder how odd Spanx would look under a swimsuit...

It's only the second day of summer. I have time to get brave and maybe lose a cheerleader, right? And you know... shave.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA to promote their new Balanced Living group. Mmm... veggie burger. No really, I love them.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I am not a nice person

Or at least I'm sure that is what two women in uptown think of me. I have a problem. I have to tell people when they screw up. It means I don't fit in around here. I tell the barista at S*bucks that they screwed up my drink. (that annoys everyone, but christ, five bucks, you better damn get it right) I try to be constructive, but apparently I'm just a bitch (according to my brother) Today however, I did something that made even me a little uncomfortable.

I told someone that they parked in two spots. In a relatively empty parking ramp. Because it just annoys me that much. It is rude. It is inconsiderate. It is completely preventable. I guess you could say that my saying something is rude as well, but I'd like to think it is different. I'm getting increasingly annoyed with what seems like people's inability to be respectful of the places and people around them. Since I was raised to speak my mind, that creates a perfect storm of the exact opposite of MN nice.

I'm doing my best to really live up to my non MN nice thing, and not talk about people behind their back. To be compassionate with people. And to tell off the mother f.....s that care only for themselves. (including that one last year in the SUV the dinged my door who I may or may not have accidentally opened my door into a little harder than normally. Its Hyundai, not a 20 year old POS, for gods sake)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Savvy, savvy, savvy

I never did do a proper post here announcing that cool new gig, but that was mostly since I created this for the public me, I figured no one would care. However, I'm in awe of of the other people writing for Savvy, so you should go read them, now. Here is a sampling

Backpacking Dad
- I think the way I figured it, his daughter is almost exactly the same age as M. So now I don't feel so bad that we're on the young side of the toddler world.

A Mommy Story - First boyfriend's wife and the City Expert for Columbus, this whole thing is her fault.

Mike Adamick - You may have read him on or heard him on NPR. (told you I was in good company) He's another stay at home dad, and he sews! (and you know that's sexy)

I'll keep mentioning them here as I read more, and continue to do a little more Wayne and Garth I am not worthy. In the mean time, go read and enjoy.

Miracle Shoes or the Adventures of Squeaky

Well, either the shoes are working, or we just had our shoe shopping trip timed perfectly. Walking with assistance only requires one hand, she is standing up fully on her own, and tonight, she stood up and took a couple of steps (before she realized what she was doing) then stood there clapping with us as we cheered her on. Daycare says she'll sit there playing, and then all of sudden just stand up on her own. I couldn't be more pleased. Since fully independent walking is now a pretty sure thing, I'm on the hunt for a pair of sandals. I think I know what I want, but they take weeks to ship, and I don't want to wait. We just hit the 80's, and full shoes may not be the best idea all the time. Pretty sure we're skipping the squeaks with the sandals, not sure though.

We may make our June 14th date after all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Under Pressure

I swore, back forwards and sideways, that I wouldn't be one of those parents who pushed their kid, who tried to turn them into the next over achieving kid to have a nervous breakdown by the time they started elementary school. I've lived in areas where people do that, and it scares me. I figured I would present developmentally appropriate options, make sure she was getting good care, and let things happen. If she ended up being behind, or if there were obvious issues, I would be unafraid to get help.

However, things never go as planned. Daycare seems to have issues, and based on very abrupt, often complaining type interactions, I question the care she is getting. I don't think it is bad, but I don't know if there are challenges (as much as you can challenge a 14 month old) and I doubt that it is "great". My special requests for them seem to be an issue, even though they are more about making sure she has room to move (limited time in the exersaucer when she was littler) and good food choices (cheeze-its are not appropriate for anyone under the age of 16, if at all). I played with her, loved her, bought her way too many toys. Aside from hearing issues related to the ear infections from hell, that have been dealt with with tubes, things are going well.

She is tall, and tall kids tend to walk later. Something about trying to coordinate all of that height. I wasn't worried. That was, until.... I got her into the better daycare. However, at the better daycare, she would be in the toddler room. And at the better daycare, they have standards (same as current daycare when it comes to walking, but we were under no pressure to be ready for that room) and she needs to be walking, alone, all the time.

All of a sudden I am grabbing her finger, forcing her to stand and take steps, letting go of one hand and making her do it almost all on her own. I am pushing her in a way that makes me uncomfortable, and I try constantly to convince myself I am doing it for her own good. That having her close to me downtown, in a center that has a great school readiness program, better ratios, better staff retention, and did I mention close to me downtown, will be worth it.

The best part, today, I bought her these. Her first pair of real shoes. A says we got them for the fit, and that we'll take out the squeakers, but I know, I know that part of me really hopes that they get her walking more.

Monday, June 9, 2008

You lost me at hair transplant

While I don't entirely understand anyone who would want to carry six kids to term, I realize there are people out there with different view points than me, and scientifically speaking, what an amazing feat. I also have a guilty love of certain kinds of reality tv. I like odd science things, like Siamese twins, along with run of the mill nature shows (pass on the snakes however).

So, my latest guilty pleasure, the one that drives the husband nuts, is Jon & Kate + Eight. Yeah, love it. Love to watch them bicker, love to see the crowd of little unique personalities, and their living a "normal" life. I would never do it, but its voyeuristic to be on the outside looking in. I feel terribly guilty, but I just can't stop watching.

Until tonight. Tonight there is playing as we speak, an episode about Jon getting a hair transplant. A yuppy, vain, silly thing. (because bald is sexy, I swear) I could understand her full body lift. I know someone who had one (after gastric bypass that saved her life, then nearly killed her) and I appreciate that someone donated the surgery. You know, practice what you preach and be generous. I like that stuff. However... take time off from raising your 8 kids, which you chose to have, which you get all kinds of help with (yeah, I see that product placement, not everyone thinks you just up and go out to all on yer own) to get a f-in hair transplant. Yeah, totally a needed thing. Yup, sure.

I'm done, has Eureka started yet?

Oh yeah, scruffy haven't shaved look, so not cute. Seriously, makes you look like you're sixteen and trying to grow a beard.